We talked on the Car Pro Show last Saturday about the luxury car brands starting their year-end incentives earlier every year. This is true of the famous Lexus December To Remember event. Youíll recognize the big red bows on top of all their models because this has been going on for quite a number of years.
In fact, the year was 1999. Lexus says just 10 years after its 1989 launch, it had not only achieved category-leading quality, reliability and dependability in its vehicles, it also introduced the kind of exceptional service previously unknown in the luxury automotive space. As the end of the year approached, Lexus was planning its customary year-end sales event.
Lexus says such sales events were common among automakers at the time. There was a high volume of year-end lease maturity dates on the horizon and dealers wanted to clear inventory of current model year vehicles to make way for new ones. The advertising campaigns for these events tended to focus primarily on sales and pricing and featured a lot of cars and loud graphics. But Lexus says it was about to change all that.
A New Approach
Instead of focusing on pricing with conventional retail sales campaigns, Lexus says it wanted to connect with consumers emotionally and focus on the holiday season versus year-end sales messaging. The brand says it didnít just ultimately make great business sense, but it also held true to the brand's established consumer-oriented, human-centric approach to vehicle development and its dealership experience.
"Where other manufacturers were focused on sales transactions Ė 'moving sheet metal' Ė Lexus focused on the holidays and the joyful, human moments that create special memories," said Lisa Materazzo, Lexus Vice President Marketing. "We conducted consumer research that sought to understand the emotional allure of the holidays. Perhaps ironically, it was that focus on the consumer that ultimately led to sales leadership over competitors."
Lexus also says its research revealed a key insight: one of the most treasured holiday memories is the gift-giving moments. It's not just what we give our loved ones that excites us, it's the reaction we get in return when a loved one opens our gift. The act of giving is as important to us as the gift itself.
"The Excitement of Giving"
So thatís how the Lexus December to Remember Campaign began, and now finds itself in its 20th year. Over the years, the "December to Remember" campaigns have featured new scenarios and reflected cultural trends along the way. Previous ads have featured Clydesdale horses, polar bears and a razor-riding Santa.
This year, the annual campaign once again features the iconic bow, the familiar melody, the time-honored tagline, and the gift-giving moment.
A series of playful ads entitled, "The Excitement of Giving," imagines the extraordinary efforts it can take to surprise a loved one with a Lexus.
The campaign features three different families in unique spots. The first two are centered around the iconic red bow itself, with a father and son's playful banter as they team up to carry the big red bow as if it were a piece of furniture, the bow falling from closets, and the bow too big for the garage freezer. Meanwhile, a mother and daughter sneak around behind dad's back, attempt to stuff the bow behind curtains and under cupboards, and even hide the bow in plain sight in the rafters over the dining room table.
The third spot focuses on hiding the car itself. In it, a father and son are constantly on guard, hiding a shiny bow-topped Lexus NX crossover in the neighbor's garage, under a snowbank, and obscuring mom's view with a pile of gift-wrapped boxes. At the end of each spot, after the gift giving moment, the givers exchange a look of relief, underscoring that their efforts have paid off, and the experiences and emotions were shared.
The Lexus December Sales Event offers incentives through Jan. 2, 2020.
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